Justice Min. Van der Steur survives another debate

Ard van der Steur (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)Ard van der Steur (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice survived another debate without a vote of no confidence against him. In Wednesday's debate Van der Steur was under fire for a letter he helped former Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten write in the so-called Teeven deal while he was still a parliamentarian.

The draft letter contained numerous suggestions by Van der Steur on how Opstelten could best inform the parliamentarians that the "receipt" showing the amounts involved in the deal was not to be found, without causing an outcry. The Teeven-deal refers to a deal then prosecutor Fred Teeven made with drug criminal Cees H. in exchange for information. The political aftermath of this deal resulted in Opstelten's resignation as Justice Minister and Teeven's resignation as Justice State Secretary.

On Wednesday the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, demanded an explanation from Van der Steur for his roll in this letter - parliamentarians are supposed to check Ministers, not help them hide the truth.

The Justice Minister told the Kamer that he now sees that he went to far in his advise to Opstelten regarding the letter, according to RTL Nieuws. He promised that he, as Minister, would never put a parliamentarian in that position. Van der Steur also again stated that he is working on improving the culture and mindset in his Ministry. According to him, the Justice Ministry is working very hard at all levels and "the motivation is good".

Wednesday was not the first time Van der Steur had to defend himself in front of the Tweede Kamer. Earlier this year he survived a debate on the terrorist attacks in Brussels, in which he had to explain what seemed like an endless series of missteps surrounding Brussels suicide bomber Ibrahim El Bakraoui. Before that also had to explain his actions around MH17 pathologist George Maat and staged photographs of murderer Volkert van der Graaf